SELKIRK, MB – A tripartite agreement was signed in Selkirk today that will see the city provide water and wastewater services to Manitoba Métis Federation land in the RM of St. Andrews.

The three governments signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Selkirk council chambers and then raised the Red River Métis flag.

“It’s a proud day in Selkirk with the signing of what really is an historic agreement between the city, the Red River Manitoba Métis Federation and the RM of St. Andrews,” said Selkirk Mayor Larry Johannson.

“With this Memorandum of Understanding signed, the City of Selkirk will provide water and sewer services directly to the MMF with the pipes running through our neighbours, the RM of St. Andrews. All of us are committed to working together in this partnership which will further economic development in the region.”

Economic reconciliation creates prosperity for everyone

The MMF approached the City of Selkirk in 2022 about providing utility services to the property, which it plans to develop. David Chartrand, President of the MMF, said the MMF is proud to partner with the City of Selkirk and the RM of St. Andrews to build and enhance services for citizens.

“Through positive working relationships like these, we are able to build understanding and create mutually beneficial partnership opportunities,” Chartrand said.

“Economic reconciliation creates prosperity for everyone. When all Canadians can understand that the act of sharing prosperity and opportunity is a cornerstone of Red River Métis culture and many other Indigenous cultures, we will see true advancement from coast to coast to coast. We thank our visionary partners in Selkirk and St. Andrews for sharing this journey toward prosperity with us.”

First time providing water services , expanding on wastewater services outside of city limits

The agreement marks the first time Selkirk will provide water services outside of city limits and expands the provision of wastewater services in St. Andrews.

“This aligns with our Community Strategic Plan that calls for Selkirk to be a regional service centre,” Johannson said.

“Selkirk has long been the service and economic hub for our region. Thirty percent of employed St Andrews residents work in Selkirk. Twenty three percent of employed St. Clements residents work in Selkirk. In fact, more Winnipeggers come to Selkirk for work than the other way around. More than double actually, according to Statistics Canada. When people need medical services, they come to our regional hospital and clinics. We provide regional recreation facilities, parks, regional mobility transit, and we provide regional water and wastewater services.”

Selkirk Chief Administrative Officer Duane Nicol said the signing of the MOU – a first of its kind – will deepen the relationship between the municipalities and the National Government of the Red River Métis.

Mayor Johannson and President Chartrand shaking hands
Mayor Johannson and President Chartrand

“The agreement will enhance collaboration and cooperation in the hopes of providing lasting benefits through business opportunities, job creation, tax revenues, and service fees, as well as infrastructure and other improvements,” Nicol said.

“This agreement sets out the vision for a partnership to, among other things, extend the City of Selkirk water and wastewater services to MMF owned lands in the RM of St. Andrews north of the city. Provision of these services will facilitate the development and delivery of MMF government programs and services to its citizens in the region.”

With more than 30 per cent of the City of Selkirk’s population identifying as Indigenous, Selkirk has made working with Indigenous governments a priority to build a stronger community through economic development and participation.

“We’re proud to be a diverse and inclusive city,” Johannson said.

“The Honourable Murray Sinclair, who was here for a Selkirk Heritage Endowment Fund event, said it best – ‘when I think of reconciliation, I think of Selkirk’.”

A beneficial relationship extending beyond this project

The RM of St. Andrews was pivotal in the success of the agreement, as the pipeline will run along Hwy. 320 through the municipality to the MMF property. Complications with Manitoba Highways’ policies for use of provincial right of ways saw the three partners work in collaboration, leveraging the MMF’s status as an Indigenous Government, rather than a developer, and their intention to play a more active and permanent role in the delivery of the services after installation.

“It is so exciting for the RM of St. Andrews to partner with MMF and the City of Selkirk,” said Mayor Joy Sul.

“This will create a beneficial relationship that will extend beyond this project and provide the framework for future endeavours.  We look forward to a successful partnership.”

Following the signing of the MOU, the City of Selkirk raised the MMF flag outside of City Hall for what will be a permanent installation.


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